A task force says the home of the State Fair could become a year-round attraction

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DALLAS — Mayor Mike Rawlings' Fair Park Task Force presented its final report Wednesday on recommendations to make the home of the State Fair what many believe it could become — a jewel and a year-round attraction.

The group, mostly made up of former Dallas City Council members and developers, shared these three recommendations:

Enhance connectivity

  • Revamp roads and connect other city trails to the park.

Open the park to the community

  • Build an actual park connecting the southern section of the property to the adjacent neighborhood.

Empower one governing body

  • Create one private, nonprofit organization to oversee all operations and marketing for Fair Park in partnership with the city.

That model was set in motion at the Dallas Zoo in 2009, and the zoo's success story may be the push the Fair Park project needs.

"If we fix it now, then we shine," said District 4 City Council member Dwaine Caraway. "If we wait and procrastinate, we're going to be doing the same thing over again, a few more years down the road."

There is no timeline yet, but it's clear the mayor liked what he heard, and wants a finalized plan in front of the public soon, with the real intent to follow through.

"I love South Dallas proper, and I love Fair Park, and this is a moment in Dallas' history that hopefully we'll look back on and say we did good work," Rawlings said.

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